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minor lines, 5/23/11

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Monday highlights from the Giants' farm: Hector Sanchez hits 3 HRs; Gary Brown had four hits, including a pair of doubles; and Andrew Kown and Mike Kickham allowed just 1 ER in 6.0+ IP.  Also notable, Ryan Verdugo had 10 K, Brett Pill homered while walking twice, and Ryan Scoma homered and doubled.

AAA: Fresno defeated Oklahoma City 7-5
(after leading 6-1 through seven innings)

Fresno: CF Tyler Graham: 1 for 2, 2 BB, SO, CS
Fresno: SS Ryan Rohlinger: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
Fresno: 1B Brett Pill: 1 for 1, HR, 2 BB, SF
Fresno: LF Brandon Belt: 1 for 3, HBP

Fresno: SP Andrew Kown: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K--1 WP
Fresno: RP Henry Sosa: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 K
Fresno: RP Marc Kroon: 1.0 IP, 1 K

Pill, who had his 6th HR, and Graham both reached base three times as they combined for four of the Grizzlies' six walks.  Belt and Rohlinger both reached base twice.

Kown had his fourth quality start in five May starts.  After beginning the month with an ERA over 5.00, he has brought his ERA below 3.50.  Sosa's struggles continue.  Kroon pitched a perfect 9th inning for his 10th save.

AA: Richmond lost to Erie 6-3
(after trailing 2-1 through six innings)

Richmond: SS Nick Noonan: 1 for 4, HR, BB
Richmond: CF Juan Perez: 2 for 4, SO, CS, E

Richmond: SP Ryan Verdugo: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K--2 WP
Richmond: RP Alex Hinshaw: 0.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB--1 WP
Erie: SP Casey Crosby: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K--1 WP

Noonan had his 3rd HR.  Perez was one of three Flying Squirrel hitters with a multi-hit line.  Both Noonan and Perez have now a .250 AVG.

Verdugo had a season-high 10 K as he pitched into the 7th inning for the first time as a pro starter.  Both earned runs charged to his record scored after he left the game as Hinshaw, who relieved Verdugo, walked three of his four batters.

Crosby, who is one of the Tigers' top ten prospects and who missed nearly all of last season, continues to pitch well in his bounceback season.  In two of his eight starts, he has allowed 5 ER both times, but in the other six starts he has allowed just 6 ER combined.  He has an ERA below 3.50 despite a BB/IP above 0.50.

A+: San Jose defeated Stockton 12-9

San Jose: CF Gary Brown: 4 for 5, 2 2B, 2 SB
San Jose: 2B Ryan Cavan: 3 for 5
San Jose: DH Hector Sanchez: 3 for 5, 3 HR, 2 SO

San Jose: SP Zack Wheeler: 4.0+ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 5 K--1 HR
San Jose: RP Jake Dunning: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
San Jose: RP Jose Valdez: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Sanchez had perhaps the biggest game of any Giants farmhand this year as he homered in the 5th, 7th, and 8th innings.  He now has 8 HRs this year, including 7 HRs in May.  His "slash" stats are .313/.331/.563 through 144 AB.  With four of the Giants' seventeen hits, Brown further raised his AVG to .378.  Cavan added three hits to raise his AVG to .287.

Wheeler began with 4.0 scoreless IP before not retiring any of the four batters he faced in the 5th inning.  He retired just half of his 22 batters faced.  He had his third straight start with a new season high for the number of walks issued.  His BB/IP ratio is now approaching 0.60.  Dunning, who has a 6.55 ERA in seven starts, made his second relief appearance of the year.  Valdez retired just two of his seven batters in the 9th inning.  His ERA rose to nearly 8.00.

A-: Augusta defeated Charleston 11-6
(after leading 10-1 through four innings)

Augusta: 2B Carlos Willoughby: 2 for 4, BB, SB
Augusta: 1B Ryan Scoma: 2 for 5, HR, 2B
Augusta: CF Chris Lofton: 2 for 3, BB
Charleston: CF Slade Heathcott: 3 for 5, 3B, SO

Augusta: SP Mike Kickham: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Augusta: RP Seth Rosin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Among five GreenJackets' with two hits each, Scoma had his 4th HR and 10th double.  His big fly was a grand slam in the 4th inning.  Willougby and Lofton both reached base three times, raising their respective OBPs to .393 and .357.  Lofton has hit .275 in May (in 51 AB) after hitting just .179 in Apri (in 56 AB).  Heathcott, one of the Yankees' top ten prospects who recently gained some infamy for his brawl with an opposing catcher, had three hits to raise his AVG to .315.

Kickham's third pro start was his best yet--his first start without allowing an earned run.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the start included new highs in most other major statistical categories too with 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, and 8 K.  He has been hard to hit with twice as many strikeouts as hits (18 K vs 9 H in 15.0 IP).  Rosin scuffled in his first relief appearance after seven starts this year.